Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous' Dark Ending & Movie Connections Explained
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 1 ties into the 2015 movie and ends with a shockingly bleak cliffhanger that sets up season 2 on Netflix.
Warning: SPOILERS for Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 1.
Here's what the surprisingly dark ending of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 1 means for the Netflix-exclusive animated series. Set during the events of Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic World, Camp Cretaceous tells the story of six teenage campers whose once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the dinosaur park from behind the scenes turns into a nightmare when the Indominus Rex breaks loose, leading to the evacuation and destruction of the theme park resort.
The six campers - Darius (Paul-Mikel Williams), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez), Yasmina (Kausar Mohammad), and Ben (Sean Giambrone) - were left to their own devices by their counselors, Roxie (Jameela Jamil) and Dave (Glen Powell) and forced to try to make it to the docks on their own. They survived a handful of encounters with the Indominus Rex as well as facing Velociraptors, the Mosasaurus, the Pteranodons, and a Carnotaurus. Not only is Ben seemingly killed but after everything they endured, the campers finally arrived at the docks the next morning to find that the last ferries were gone and they were left behind on Isla Nublar.
While Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous targets a young audience and doesn't outright show the gore of dinosaurs eating people, the series is violent, scary, definitely takes chances, and follows executive producer Steven Spielberg's advice not to make "the kiddie version" of Jurassic World. Camp Cretaceous gets incredibly dark as it continues, with the teenagers repeatedly placed in harrowing life-or-death scenarios. The fact that Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous also ends with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger is also a bold move that begs for the kids' story to continue. Here's how Camp Cretaceous connects to Jurassic World and how the finale sets up season 2.
Camp Cretaceous' Ending Is Dark: The Kids Are Left Behind In Jurassic World
After every life-threatening ordeal the six teenage campers survived against the dinosaurs in Jurassic World, Camp Cretaceous' ending was shockingly bleak: the kids were abandoned when the island was evacuated. After surviving the Mosasaurus in the Lagoon, the attack by the Pteranodons on the monorail, and two deadly encounters with the Carnotaurus, the kids were too late when they reached the docks on the southern tip of Isla Nublar early the next morning. The last ferry departed, despite Roxie and Dave pleading for the boat to turn around and rescue the teens, who were left behind.
This means the campers are trapped in Jurassic World with the dinosaurs running loose all over the island. The one positive in this scenario is that the Indominus Rex is dead; as fans saw in Jurassic World, it was eaten by the Mosasaurus. If the kids can reach the main park, they also have a chance to survive since the evacuation was so sudden, it left behind the resources of the resort and the various facilities of the main park. The campers' immediate survival prospects are not completely dire if they can indeed make it to the resort, but there is half of Isla Nublar and its dinosaurs in between the kids and relative safety.
When they were on the monorail, the campers faced the fact that even though they relied on each other to stay alive against the dinosaurs, they didn't consider each other friends since they were thrown together at random. But now that they literally only have each other until they can be rescued, the kids will have to continue to work together - and some of them need to grow up fast - to stay alive in Jurassic World.
How Camp Cretaceous Connects To Jurassic World
Camp Cretaceous was cleverly structured to take place before, during, and immediately after the events of Jurassic World. The campers arrived about three days before the events of the movie began, and the kids met Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) in the Genetics Lab about two days before the Indominus Rex's outbreak. In fact, Brooklynn discovered Wu's plans for the Indominus Rex while she was snooping in Wu's private office. The campers also saw Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) arrive on the island via helicopter as he did in the movie.
The first three episodes of Camp Cretaceous took place before the movie, and Darius, Kenji, and Brooklynn's encounter with Blue and the Velociraptors happened two days before the scene with Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio) that introduced them all in Jurassic World. Episode four of Camp Cretaceous happened after the Indominus Rex broke out of its paddock, as one of its first rampages was destroying the Camp Cretaceous treehouse. The kids trying to reach the docks and surviving multiple encounters with the Indominus Rex happened concurrently with the events of the film. In Camp Cretaceous episode 6, they even witnessed the Pteranodons break out of the Aviary and attack Masrani's helicopter, killing the billionaire owner of Jurassic World.
By the time the campers made it to the Cretaceous Cruise kayak ride, the conclusion of Jurassic World was happening: the Pteranodons attacked the resort, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) released the T-Rex to fight the Indominus Rex, and the villainous hybrid carnivore was eaten by the Mosasaurus. The campers arrived at the Mosasaurus Lagoon as the island was evacuating and the events of the movie were over by the time they reached the docks the next morning when all the ferries were gone.
Did Ben Survive His Fall From The Monorail?
One of the most shocking moments in Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous was the apparent death of Ben when he fell from the monorail. He was the nerdiest of the campers and the one least suited to survival on the island, but Ben proved his mettle when he faced the Pteranodons and saved the monorail from a collision. However, the Camp Cretaceous season 1 finale ended with Bumpy, Ben's baby Ankylosaurus, discovering Ben's unconscious body, and his hand twitched, indicating that Ben is probably still alive.
Still, the fact that Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is an animated series aimed at kids created an assumption that it wouldn't depict the young campers themselves dying (or even seemingly dying). So "killing" Ben was a bold, risky move by Camp Cretaceous that upped the ante for how far the series is willing to go and that the campers are not "safe" just because they're kids. It's a fine line Camp Cretaceous walked but it did create genuine stakes and jeopardy that maintains the level of realism in the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World films.
But even if Ben is alive from the fall, how hurt is he and can he survive long enough for his friends to find him and get him somewhere to receive medical attention? No matter what, Ben remains in critical danger in Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 2.
What Will Happen In Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2?
One of the big questions left behind by Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 1's cliffhanger is when the events of season 2 will happen and whether there will be a time jump of any sort. This is crucial because there is a ticking clock on Isla Nublar since we know that in 2018, Mount Sibo will erupt and the volcanic explosion will destroy the island. Thanks to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, we also know that mercenaries arrive on Isla Nublar six months after Jurassic World fell in order to extract the remains of the Indominus Rex from the Lagoon so that Dr. Wu and breed the Indoraptor, and the mercenaries' blunders set the Mosasaurus loose into the ocean. But the mercenaries never encounter the kids from Camp Cretaceous during their fateful expedition.
If Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 2 happens soon after season 1 and within the 6 months before the mercenaries arrive on Isla Nublar, then there's a chance the kids survive long enough to be rescued. They have a few things going their way: Kenji's father is incredibly rich, Brooklynn is a famous social media influencer, and Ben, Yaz, and Sammy have parents as well who could mount rescue missions. Roxie and Dave also know the campers were left behind and a ferry could be sent to find them. It's possible Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous season 2 happens well before the events seen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom because the alternative is that the teenage campers are still on the island and not rescued when the volcano explodes in 2018 - which would be an inconceivably dark ending for the animated series.
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is available to stream on Netflix.